Case: Rex vs Mister Beaver Hateman, Criminal Libel
Presiding Judge: Sir George Jeffreys
Counsel for the Prosecution: Godfrey Badger K.C.
Counsel for the Defence: Mister Hootman G.H.O.S.T
Judge Jeffreys: Before we proceed with the case for the prosecution, Mr Badger, it seems from yesterdays evidence that the magical properties, or lack of, possessed by the Wizard’s Dressing Gown, is of crucial importance in this case. If this gown could be submitted as an evidential exhibit, it would be possible to ascertain the veracity of the claims made for it. Would that not be possible?
Mr Badger: Unfortunately, your honour, the coat sustained some damage during the events at the Treasury. It became coated in treacle and in order for it to be returned for display in Museum it was sent to the dry cleaners. When Uncle’s manservant, The Old Monkey, went to collect it they claimed that the article had already been reclaimed.
Judge Jeffreys: That is most unfortunate, and a very lax manner in which to treat a major item of evidence – I hope searches are being made.
Mr Badger: They are your honour – but so far without success.
Judge Jeffreys: Very well, call your next witness for the prosecution
Mr Badger: I would like to call Wizard Blenkinsop your honour.
Usher: Call Wizard Blenkinsop!
Wizard Blenkinsop is duly sworn in.
Mr Badger: You are Wizard Blenkinsop, of Wizard Glen?
Wizard Blenkinsop: I am.
Mr Badger: Now, is it correct that the dressing gown used by Mister Hateman…
Mr Hootman: Objection M’lud!
Mr Badger: …the dressing gown alleged to have been used by Mister Hateman in these crimes was donated by yourself to the museum.
Wizard Blenkinsop: Yes, perhaps foolishly I thought that it would be the safest place for it, inside a secure display case…
Mr Badger: You told no one of it’s secret powers.
Wizard Blenkinsop: I did not – but unfortunately a rather foolish cat in my employ made a record of the event in his diary.
Mr Badger: But you can confirm it’s magical properties?
Wizard Blenkinsop: Indeed, I can…many are the times when I have had to extricate myself from imprisonment in some Goblin’s lair, or enchantment by a witch.
Mr Badger: But in the wrong hands this could be used for criminal activity?
Wizard Blenkinsop: Without doubt!
Mr Badger: Thank you, I have no more questions for the witness.
At this point the wizard made to leave the witness box…
Judge Jeffreys: We have not finished yet – would you please come back Wizard Blenkinsop.
Mr Hootman: This court has been told of the excellent character of Uncle….
Wizard Blenkinsop: Yes, a fine fellow…
Mr Hootman: Is it not true that he purchased Homeward, from yourself?
Wizard Blenkinsop: Yes, that is true - the upkeep was all getting too much for me….
Mr Hootman: Would you say he paid a fair price?
Wizard Blenkinsop: Certainly fair at the time, of course it is worth a great deal more now, but that is because…
Mr Hootman: Would it not be true to say that the asset was severely undervalued, and he tricked you into paying much less than it was worth?
Wizard Blenkinsop: Not at all, he has merely made the most of it, and discovered new avenues of revenue – I bare him no grudges….
Mister Hootman: No, well, members of the jury, no one likes to admit they have been made a fool of - especially not one who has a high position in society based on their claims to have the powers of the ‘magical arts’…
Wizard Blenkinsop: That is outrageous, I object most strongly to your inference….
Judge Jeffreys: Yes, you must desist in this line of questioning Mister Hootman.
Mister Hootman: Very well, let us move onto your claims regarding this dressing gown. You assure us of it’s abilities to render the wearer invisible?
Wizard Blenkinsop: I do indeed.
Mister Hootman: Invisible? There are many things that one could do if invisible…ever been tempted to ride on public transport for free?
Wizard Blenkinsop: Certainly not!
Mister Hootman: What! – never even been tempted to sneak your way into some major event when tickets are unobtainable?
Wizard Blenkinsop: We wizards have a certain code of conduct, you know…
Mister Hootman: Members of the jury, I put it to you that only the most saintly of men would be able to resist the opportunities such invisibility would give one….unless of course this garment is just a figment of the imagination of some sad person with delusions of grandeur. You do not really possess any magical powers do you Mr Blenkinsop? You are a charlatan, a trickster !
Wizard Blenkinsop: How dare you !
Mister Hootman: Prove that you can perform real magic then!
At this point there was a flash of smoke and the Wizard disappeared.
Mister Hootman: Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, you may have found that act astounding…but I submit this video in evidence as proof that anyone could do this…it is merely an example of advanced trickery.
Judge Jeffreys: Have you finished, Mister Hootman ?…then we shall adjourn for the day.